How to Pack a Maternity Hospital Bag
Packing your bag for your maternity hospital stay is one of many pregnancy milestones. It’s another way to prepare for your baby’s arrival. Just as you would pack for any trip, vacation, or adventure, you’ll need to pack some important items for your journey into the land of motherhood.
What is a Maternity Hospital Bag?
In the literal sense, it’s a bag that holds the items you take with you to the hospital when you’re about to give birth. In the symbolic sense, it’s a transitional piece, in your rite of passage from pregnant woman to mother.
Why Pack a Maternity Hospital Bag?
You will be staying in the hospital for a few days and will need to bring certain things with you. And, when you’re in labor is not the time to decide and find what you want to bring with you to the hospital. You’ll want to pack it ahead of time because sometimes babies arrive before their due dates! Having your bag packed in advance makes life so much easier! Many say that you should have your hospital bag packed by the time you are about 36 weeks pregnant (maybe even sooner).
What Makes a Good Maternity Hospital Bag?
The best maternity hospital bag is one that’s soft, flexible, versatile, and that can hold as many items as you want to bring. It gives you options. What to use as a maternity hospital bag can vary, such as a suitcase, duffle bag, tote, messenger bag, or backpack.
Kabana Kids’ Beachy Diaper Bags make amazing maternity hospital bags. They are soft yet sturdy, large and roomy yet flexible and not too huge (they expand as you need them to) and won’t take up too much room. They’re super easy to carry. They have handles that are just the right length, so they can be carried over-the-shoulder; they also have backpack straps, for added convenience. They’re made from luxurious cotton canvas with a waterproof bottom made from eco-friendly, non-toxic vegan leather. They’re also fully lined and have pockets inside and out. With six colors to choose from, you’ll find the perfect bag to fit your style. Shop here.
Suggestions for What to Pack in Your Maternity Hospital Bag
- Important Paperwork – birth plan (if you have one), hospital information and registration papers, insurance information, photo ID
- Nightgown or pajamas
- Nursing bra
- Comfortable underwear
- Going home clothes for you – comfortable and maternity sized. Some ideas include a soft flowing top, t-shirt, tank top, yoga pants, pajama pants, or other soft pants, a soft comfy sweater or sweatshirt, socks, comfy shoes
- Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sanitary pads (the hospital will also have these, but if you like a certain type, bring them), shampoo, conditioner, hair brush, hair ties, headband, face wash, face wipes (makeup remover wipes), moisturizer, lip balm, dry shampoo, lotion, makeup and makeup mirror if you want to fix up for pictures
- Lanolin cream
- Breast/nursing pads
- Small notebook and pen (for keeping notes)
- Snacks – such as bottled water, flavored water, coconut water, granola bars, protein bars, pretzels, crackers
- Going home outfit for baby – pants (for the car seat strap to be secured) and a top (such as a kimono style), or a one-piece pants outfit; if pants don’t have footies in them, also bring socks; a soft hat
- Muslin blanket/swaddle
- Pacifier (sanitized and protected in a separate little container)
- Pouches, smaller bags, and containers for organizing your bag
- Also, make sure you bring these items (which may or may not be packed in your hospital bag ahead of time, but perhaps in your purse): a photo ID; prescription medications; glasses; cash and change (for snacks and gift shop); cell phone; charger
Here Are Some Items You Don’t Need to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
- Diapers and wipes – the hospital will provide these
- Bottles, formula, breast pump – the hospital will have these
- Baby blankets (unless you want to bring your own swaddle blanket)
- Sanitary pads (unless you like a certain type, then you can bring your own)
- Books and work – you won’t have time for these
Suggestions for Packing Your Maternity Hospital Bag
Once you’ve chose your bag, gathered all the items you want to include, and washed anything the needed to be washed, lay everything out (such as on a bed). Group similar items together and pack them into different pouches and containers. Large items, like a robe, can go into the bag on their own. Smaller items should be assembled together in pouches or containers, such as one for toiletries, one for snacks, one for baby clothes, and so on. Place pouches/containers into the bag. It can be helpful to have clear plastic or mesh pouches to you can easily see where certain things are.
It’s helpful to have a lot of your maternity hospital bag items packed up ahead of time, but some you will probably be using on a daily basis, or will already be in your purse (which you will want to bring to the hospital with you too). This includes a photo ID, prescription medication, and more. You may want to keep a list of these items near your pre-packed bag, so you can easily grab them too.
Also, in addition to your hospital bag, you will need to bring your baby car seat with you. Some other possible items to bring include a pillow and comfy blanket, camera (other than your phone camera), entertainment items (like an iPad, iPod, or speaker). Your partner may also want to bring some items, such as extra clothes, snacks, pillow and blanket, and toiletries.
Having your material hospital bag all packed and ready to go will bring you piece of mind when the big day arrives!
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- Lori Granieri